Skip to content

Where are Former African Footballers who Played in Europe?

Only a few African migrant players remain in the game as coaches or in administrative positions in European football. Among the most prominent are Mário Wilson from Mozambique who played most of his career in Portugal and coached SL Benfica to win the Portuguese championship in 1976. There’s also Michael Emenalo from Nigeria who served as technical director for FC Chelsea and AS Monaco after having played for various teams in the US, Europe and Israel. More recently, the former Nigerian international Ndubuisi Egbo won the Albanian league title with FK Tirana in the 2019/20 season, while Mbaye Leye, a former Senegalese international, was appointed Standard Liège’s new head coach in December 2020. Instead, former African footballers have become coaches or, player agents, or are otherwise occupied in the football industry only after returning to Africa, even if their initial plan was to stay in Europe and pursue their post-playing livelihoods there. Given the impact of African players in European football, this is remarkable and certainly a waste of coaching talent for the European football industry